Over at Sons of Mosiah, commenter Kent Bailey made a comment that has gotten me thinking. He writes:
Compare the number of hours you spend in Church meetings each month to the number of hours you spend out in the community giving service. For me, the ratio is about 20 to 1. If it is ok to do the Lord’s work on the sabbath (actually more than “ok”), wouldn’t our sabbath be better spent, say working at the DI or in a soup kitchen — as opposed to sitting in meetings all day? If the Savior were here, I doubt he’d be spending his entire sabbath in church meetings or at home.
It’s an interesting question: Do we spend too much time meeting and not enough time doing?
On the one hand, I can appreciate the need for meetings. I sometimes find them boring or unhelpful, but there is certainly a benefit to meeting together, touching base with members, and certainly to partaking the sacrament.
On the other hand, we often end up with an endless cycle of meetings. Leadership meeting, followed by PEC, followed by a three hour block, followed by a meeting of the Elders Quorum presidency, with a correlation meeting or a missionary meeting or a choir practice or a leadership training mixed in between. And each individual meeting may not be bad, but when they take up an entire day — and when that day is “the Lord’s Day” — I wonder if Kent’s ideas don’t have merit.
Which brings us to the question: How? That is, how can we begin (assuming we should) to start doing less meeting and more doing? Or, on the other hand, should we just cheerfully surrender to the creeping of bureaucracy and meeting-ocracy?